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A friend drove to Saugatuck, Michigan, this month to check out antique shops and soak in some sun. Another took a day by themselves at Fox Lake, hanging out at a family friend’s docked boat. Both these people are serious about their health, and followed social distancing recommendations. I’m thinking about vacation time right now. It is August, after all, even though all of the strange events of this year have made it feel otherwise. I don’t feel the need to charter a shuttle to Saturn using the newly found alleged alien technology, but I’m still a little wary of “taking it easy,” mostly because what do you do when you get there? We included so many great choices in our 2018 Road Trips issue, but 2020’s challenges are calling me to stay home. It may sound counterintuitive to the idea of a vacation, but I think I’ll take my time off this year to clean my house, rearrange my furniture, and go to doctor appointments I’ve been putting off.

While mulling over the pros and cons of finding a hotel room just to use someone else’s hot tub for an hour, I finally finished watching all of the first-season episodes of South Side, which my colleague Janaya Greene told you all about last August. As you’re thinking about your own last-minute end-of-summer getaways, I recommend that you get to know my favorite characters (Stacy, Bluto, and Kareme), spot both the Reader and Jeff Tweedy moments, and consider spending your downtime enjoying this ridiculous and multi-faceted city that we all love.

Look at and listen:

  • Check out this article by Reader contributor Emma Oxnevad about the adjustments that Chicago’s drag performers have made in order to do their work amongst COVID-19 restrictions. As a longtime drag fan (my first drag show was at El Gato Negro sometime in the 90s) I’m always pleased when the Reader writes about this art form. A bonus to hear from CeeCee LaRouge. I always enjoyed her raw but entertaining YouTube series and you can find her these days on Facebook.
  • Virtual events coming up:

    • Fri 8/21, noon through Sun 8/23 at 11:59 PM: Chicago Tap Theatre presents 30 Feet Together, Six Feet Apart, a streaming dance presentation hosted by musician JC Brooks. Free to watch anytime this weekend but donations to the theater are encouraged.
    • Wed 8/26, 7 PM: Center on Halsted hosts This is America: Truths Through My Body, a virtual storytelling night and conversation facilitated by professor and storyteller Ada Cheng.
    • Sat 8/29, 6 PM: the Square Roots Festival offers a free livestream for its 2020 iteration; performers include the O’My’s, Dehd, Andrew Sa, and Frank Waln.
    • Sat 8/29, 8:30 PM: Metallica and Three Days Grace will play the first of the Encore Drive-In Nights series with a live concert simulcast at drive-ins all over the country. Area showings are scheduled for the Chicago Drive-In Theaters at Hoffman Estates’s Sears Centre, the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, and the Elgin Cinema.  v